Responsibilities of Club Test Chair:
- Know Skate Canada Rules and Technical Guidelines regarding procedures for test session.
- Know Section local rules applicable to test day organization/management.
- Determine the need for tests via the club coaches.
- Set up test days.
- Collect test applications and test fees.
- Ensure that skaters are eligible for the tests (prerequisite test requirements have been met).
- Obtain evaluators/judges for tests.
- Prepare test sheets and test summary sheets, available for download from the “member’s only” section of the Skate Canada website.
- Provide a room for officials with refreshments.
- Arrange for payments of evaluators/judges expenses for travel, accommodations and meals.
- Encourage club members to trial judge/evaluate.
- Liaise with club coaches and the club executive.
- Maintain a record keeping system for test records of skaters in your club.
- Sign competition entry forms for skaters in your club verifying skaters’ test records (if the club has assigned this duty to the Test Chair).
In larger skating clubs it is advisable to form a Test Committee. The Test Chair would chair the Committee and delegate responsibilities such as preparing test sheets, providing food, music, ice captain, runner to other committee members. The Test Chair should ensure that jobs get done if he or she is not personally responsible.
Skate Canada Rules and Technical Information Regarding Test Sessions: See Section 4000 (STARSkate) and Section 5000 (Competitive) of the Skate Canada Technical Handbook (SC Members Only – Main Menu – Rules – Official Rule Book – Technical Handbook – page 00-19)
Skate Canada Test System: A basic understanding of the Skate Canada STARSkate program is an asset to a Test Chair. It is not necessary to know the detailed procedures for conducting tests since this is the responsibility of the evaluators/judges. However, an understanding of the different types of tests and their general requirements is helpful particularly to the new Test Chair.
Prerequisites for Skate Canada Tests:
The Skate Canada Technical Handbook (Regulation G-1.0(2) Section 4000) states that the Test Chair shall not permit a skater to participate in a test session unless:
1. that skater has a current registration number.
2. All eligibility requirements have been verified prior to test day.
Important Rules to be noted by the Test Chair:
Rule 4403 Order of Tests states that a candidate for a test must have passed all the preceding tests in the same category in all disciplines except:
Credit For Tests Completed will be given regardless of any subsequent changes in the test system.
Free Skating Test Parts can be taken individually and/or in any order. The candidate must have passed the previous elements portion in order to take the next elements portion and similarly the previous free program in order to take the next free program. (Rule 4403(4). Amendment passed July 1, 2002)
Dance Tests can be tried in any order. A candidate must pass all the dances in a dance test before progressing to the next level, except as noted in Rule 4303 and the Technical Handbook.
Test Fees: There are Test Fees for each part of a Test. See the Skate Canada Notice Board for the current test fees. (SC Members Only – Main Menu – Rules – Official Rule Book – Notice Board – pages: 00-18 & 00-19)
Draws: Three Draws for the Skating Skills test session should be made to establish the exercise to be skated for the Preliminary Circles. In Free Skate Tests, one draw should be made at the beginning of the test session for the direction to be skated for the stroking exercises. All candidates for all free skate tests will skate in the same direction for the first exercise and then alternate the direction. This procedure will allow more than one skater to be tested on stroking at one time. This can be a great time saving measure. (This draw does not apply to the Preliminary Free Skate test candidates, who may choose their direction of travel for stroking for both exercises.)
The following tests are evaluated by one evaluator:
Skating Skills (Preliminary – Gold)
Free Skate (Preliminary – Gold)
Compulsory Dances (Preliminary – Gold)
Interpretive (Introductory – Gold)
One evaluator is required for all evaluated STARSkate tests and three judges are normally required for competitive tests. All officials must be selected from the current Skate Canada Officials list. Two members of the same family may not be used on the same panel. Only under extenuating circumstances can the Section Judge/Evaluator Chair approve the use of a Single Panel Evaluator.
The Test Chair should have on hand the most current list of Judges and Evaluators. Only Judges and Evaluators on this list are permitted to be used for competitions and test days.
When both partners in a Competitive Dance Test are taking the test, they are marked at the same time as a couple (Technical Handbook 4000 H-4.0(7). Therefore, only one set of test sheets needs to be completed and the test only needs to be scheduled once. However, both names must appear on the appropriate Test Summary Sheet. In these cases, the result will be the same for each skater.
The Evaluator must initial the results on each Test Summary Sheet for Evaluated Tests. (A separate Test Summary Sheet can be used for each evaluator.) The referee must initial the Test Summary Sheet for Competitive Tests. The Test Chair needs to remind evaluators and referees not to leave before initialing the test summary sheets. These are necessary to validate the test results.
How To Set Up A Test Session:
Tests can be conducted in two ways: Individual Club test days or Regional test days. One Club holds individual club test days for their own members. A Regional test day is held when two or more clubs in an area hold a joint test day. Due to the increasing number of tests, clubs usually get together and run regional test days to pool resources. Regional Test Days reduce the cost of ice rental and expenses of Officials.
A skater may attempt each test (or test part) one time per test session. A test session is a period of time during which tests are evaluated. A test session can be a few hours on the same day in one rink or it can be divided over several days and ice surfaces.
A Test Chair’s Checklist is included here.
The following is a step-by-step description of how to set up a Test Session:
Before deciding on the dates for holding tests, access a list of the Section’s competitions for the coming year, and avoid these dates to ensure that evaluators/judges are more readily available.
Have in your possession a current judge/evaluator list.. Remember that not all officials are qualified in every discipline, so check carefully before calling. You must contact the Section Judge/Evaluator Chair if you require a High level Judge/Evaluator for Junior Silver tests upwards. Remember the Interpretive requires a High Level qualified Evaluator and should be scheduled at High Level Test Days. The Test Chair is permitted to contact a Low level Judge/Evaluator for tests Senior Bronze and below.
Ask the Club Coaches for a list of all possible tests, approximately three weeks prior to the test day.
Determine: the amount of ice time required; the number and qualifications of judges/evaluators needed for each type of test; the number of test sheets required. Obtain a master set of test sheets to keep on hand for photocopying. Test Sheets can be downloaded from the Skate Canada Members’ Only Site.
Compose a list of potential evaluators/judges qualified to do your tests, decide time of day to run panel tests that will allow for judge availability (after 6 p.m. or weekends for working people). Design a tentative schedule that allows for floods and coaches and officials’ breaks. If coaches have many students or are partnering, they need time to recuperate, and the officials need time to prepare for the next events.
Contact evaluators/judges well in advance of the test day. It is advisable to use different evaluators from a variety of clubs to provide skaters with an opportunity to have different viewpoints. It is helpful to vary those officials from test day to test day to allow for the development of the new evaluator and to prevent overuse and fatigue in the others.
At least two weeks before tests are to be held, post a notice listing: the tests to be held, the date of the tests and the closing date for applications. A skater who withdraws within fourteen days of the time announced for the test shall be liable for the test fee and the skater’s name is entered on the Test Summary Sheet as “not tried”. The test is considered as a retry or failed test. The above shall not apply if the Test Chair at the relevant session is satisfied that illness or accident necessitated the withdrawal. (Technical Handbook 4000 1-3.0)
If you are aware that there may be a Supervised Trial Assessment at the test session, it is advisable to inform the club coaches. A Supervised Trial Assessment is a test to be completed by an evaluator-in-training. The evaluator-in-training conducts the test under the supervision of a certified evaluator.
Download Test Sheets from the Members Only section of the Skate Canada Website (SC Members Only – Main Menu – Technical & Program Information – Test Sheets)
Inform the evaluators/judges of the tests to be taken outlining the number of tests at each level and the approximate hours required, the dates, location of the arena and how expenses will be covered.
Collect test fees and applications from candidates.
Arrange for all Test Summary Sheets to be prepared prior to test day. Test sheets for all evaluators/judges should also be prepared in advance. Clipboards should be provided for official evaluators/judges.
Arrange for a warm room with refreshments for officials.
Appoint an ice captain to inform skaters when and where they are to go for warm-up and test.
Arrange for a music operator to play music for skating skills, freeskates, interpretives, dances, singles and pair tests.
Arrange for periodic floods with the arena staff.
Ensure that the test day runs smoothly. Remember to have the evaluators/referee initial all summary sheets.
Thank all of the officials and other volunteers who have helped with test day.
Arrange for payment of evaluators/judges expenses for travel, accommodation and meals (as applicable). Please see the Notice Board at the front of the Rule Book for the current reimbursement rate for mileage [Sample Expense Claim Form]. The club is responsible for the expenses above for the official evaluators and judges, not for trial evaluators/judges. Payment should cover actual receipted expenses (or mileage) only, as evaluators/judges are volunteers of Skate Canada.
Within three weeks after Test Day, send Summary Sheets and Summary of Test Fees Sheet (SC Members Only – Main Menu – Technical & Program Information – Summary of Test Fees) with Fees to Skate Canada; send copy of Summary Sheets to the Section Judge/Evaluator Chair and keep a copy of the Summary Sheets and tops of Test Sheets on file at Host Club.
Competitive Tests During Competition:
At this time, during the Judge/Evaluator Shortage in our Section, it is recommended that Competitive Tests be tried during competition at the non qualifying CPC judged events: Summer Skate, The Rebecca Pack Memorial Friendship Skate and Provincials.
For tests to be conducted at a competition, approval must be granted by the Section Judge/Evaluator Chair, who will coordinate the administration activity for such tests.
Please note that no administrative fees may be charged for these tests, solely the Skate Canada Test Fee.
Scheduling a Test Session:
The Test Chair should have all test applications at least two weeks before the test day. At this time the schedule should be finalized and posted in the club. Skaters, officials and coaches should be informed of the schedule.
The following are the estimates of the time required for each Test. These times do not include warm ups or re skates but do include evaluating/judging time.
Skating Skills Tests:
Preliminary 5 minutes
Junior Bronze 6 minutes
Senior Bronze 6 minutes
Junior Silver 6 minutes
Senior Silver 6 minutes
Gold 7 minutes
Note: One skater performs all three exercises before the testing of another candidate begins. The warm-up for Skating Skills tests should consist of a warm-up for the specific level with the music played for all the exercises. A skater may go on the ice immediately prior to being tested (at the same time as the skater being tested) to get the feel of the ice since skaters may be off the ice for a considerable period between the warm-up for the specific level and their test. See example of a schedule for Skating Skills tests.
Free Skate Tests:
Preliminary Elements/ Program – 15 minutes / 3.5 – 4.0 minutes
Junior Bronze Elements/ Program – 15 minutes / 3.5 – 4.0 minutes
Senior Bronze Elements/ Program – 18 minutes / 4.0 – 4.5 minutes
Junior Silver Elements/ Program – 20 minutes / 5.0 – 5.5 minutes
Senior Silver Elements/ Program – 20 minutes / 5.0 – 5.5 minutes
Gold Elements/ Program – 20 minutes / 6.0 minutes
Preliminary / Junior Bronze 2.0 minutes per dance
Senior Bronze to Diamond 4.0 minutes per dance
Preliminary Creative Dance 3.5 minutes per dance
Bronze Creative Dance 3.5 minutes per dance
Silver Creative Dance 4.0 minutes per dance
Gold Creative Dance 4.5 minutes per dance
All Introductory, Bronze, Silver and Gold are 4.0 minutes.
Competitive Singles Tests:
All Juvenile to Senior Free Skate Programs are 5.0 minutes.
Competitive Dance Tests:
Pre Novice Stroking Exercise 10 minutes
Novice Free Dance 4 minutes
Junior Free Dance 5 minutes
Senior Free Dance 6 minutes
Competitive Pair Tests: Free Program
Juvenile 4 minutes
Pre-Novice 5 minutes
Novice 5 minutes
Junior 6 minutes
Senior 6 minutes
Test Day Scheduling Tips:
Allow 5-10 minutes for warm-up for each dance. If one partner is skating with many candidates, allow more warm-up time. Freeskaters may warm-up together for 5-10 minutes (not more than 8 skaters on the ice at the same time). Elements in isolation must be skated prior to the skating of the free programs. Allow 5-10 minutes for the pair free skate warm-up (not more than 4 pair teams on the ice at the same time).
Two skaters may be tested at the same time by one Evaluator for the primary free skate elements in isolation. This should be used only when there is an even number of skaters trying the test. One skater performs on test while the other practices and so on. The skaters and coaches should be advised in advance if this procedure is to be followed.
Allow enough time for resurfacing the ice. Coffee/tea or hot chocolate and soup/sandwiches should be available to officials during breaks. If an evening session is being run, with officials coming in over the supper hour, a meal should be provided.
Tests should generally be scheduled from lowest to highest (e.g. Preliminary to Gold) to accommodate tests which are conditional upon passing a prerequisite test. There is no rule requiring this and a club may set up the schedule to suit its needs. Adjustments may be required when a panel is needed for tests.
Two or more evaluators on the ice at the same time will reduce the required time and is recommended where there are several skills or freeskate tests being taken.
Two evaluators may be used alternately for dance tests to save time. Evaluator #1 observes Skater#1 and writes comments. While Evaluator #1 is writing comments, Evaluator #2 observes Skater#2. This allows for one skater to go right after another, resulting in less time for the test session. Two evaluators may be used simultaneously for dance tests (“double panel”) but careful planning is necessary or you may find the same person is required as a partner at both ends of the rink at the same time!
Two evaluators may be used for a large number of Skating Skills Tests. Evaluator #1 would observe Skater #1 and then write comments while Evaluator #2 observes Skater #2 and so on. Only one skater would be tested at a time with the other skater warming up (being careful to keep clear of the skater being tested).
Procedures for Reporting Tests to National Office:
Once the test session is completed, some administrative follow-up is required to ensure that skaters are credited with their tests on the database at Skate Canada National Office. A copy of the Test Summary Sheet and test fees must be sent within three weeks to the National Office. A Test Fee Summary Report is to be attached with each batch of Test Summary Sheets submitted to the National Office.
Test Summary Sheets:
A Test Summary Sheet must be completed for all tests.
When completing Test Summary Sheets, a test day number must be assigned to each test day hosted by the club during the membership year. Starting with 1 for the first test day held after September 1st, 2 for the second and so on. A sheet number must also be assigned in sequential numbers for each test summary sheet used at any given test session.
The official must initial the results of each test in order to validate the summary sheet. It is advisable to use a separate summary sheet for each evaluator’s tests if there are a large number of tests being taken.
The Test Summary Sheet contains boxes for the judges marks for the Competitive Singles Tests, Competitive Pair Tests and Competitive Dance Tests. The referee must initial the results of each test in order to validate the test results.
Withdrawal of Candidate :
A candidate who withdraws within fourteen days of the time announced for the test shall be liable for the test fee. A line is drawn through the entry and “not tried” or “withdrawn” is written. The test is marked a retry and the Skate Canada fee must be paid unless due to illness or injury. This fee shall be submitted with the fees for the tests tried. This test should be initialed on the summary sheet.
If a higher test was conditional on passing a lower test and the skater did not pass the lower test, no fee is paid for the higher test. Cross out the higher test and write in “Conditional”. This test should be initialed on the summary sheet.
Test Retry Policy :
A Test Session is a period of time during which tests are evaluated. A test session can be a few hours on the same day in one rink or it can be divided over several days and ice surfaces.
Regardless of the format, skaters register only once for the same STARSkate test at one test session.
A Competitive Test can be retried once during the same Test Day, if all the following conditions are met:
The Judge/Evaluators feel a retry is warranted.
There is sufficient ice time to allow the retry at the end of the schedule, without negatively impacting the rest of the test day.
The test fee and administration fee (if applicable) is paid twice.
The test is recorded twice on the summary sheet.
The Judge/Evaluators are available to stay to retest the skate.
Which Dances can be soloed?
Skate Canada Rule 4303 states which Dances can be soloed (SC Members Only – Main Menu – Rules – Official Rule Book – Technical Handbook – STARSkate Program – STARSkate Rules & Regulations – page 4000-14)
Procedures for Regional Test Days:
Note: Home Club permission is required if trying a test outside their club, or at a competition.
For accounting purposes, Skate Canada needs to receive from the host club a cheque that covers all tests listed on the summary sheets prepared for this host club. If at a regionalized test session, all summary sheets indicate club XYZ as the host club, Skate Canada expects to receive a cheque from club XYZ for all tests from the session. However, if the summary sheets indicate clubs A,B and C as the host clubs, Skate Canada expects to receive a cheque from club A for tests listed on the summary sheets showing club A as the host club, another cheque from club B for tests listed on the summary sheets showing club B as the host club and a third cheque from club C for tests listed on summary sheets showing Club C as the host club.
The host club is responsible for forwarding the top portion of the original evaluator/judge’s sheets to the home club of the skater and notifying the home club of the number of the summary sheet upon which the marks are entered.
Inquiries Regarding Test Records at National Office :
If you find it necessary to contact Skate Canada National Office regarding a skater’s test record, please make sure you quote the skater’s individual registration number. It is helpful to know the skater’s home club. If you refer to a specific Test Summary Sheet, please have the serial number of the summary sheet available. Remember the National Office only receives the Test Summary Sheets – the original top portion of the evaluator/judge test sheet is retained by the home club. Information on test records is only available to the skater, club president or test chair. There is a $20.00 charge for record searches of an individual whose membership has lapsed for a number of years as microfilm searches may be required.
To ensure that the computerized recording of tests runs smoothly, the Club Test Chair should:
Check the accuracy of the skater’s name (it must be spelled correctly – as the skater was registered) and the skater’s registration number on the Test Summary Sheet.
Make certain that each skater has his home club number recorded on the Summary Sheet. This number appears on the skater’s Skate Canada registration card. It is strongly recommended that skaters from different clubs be grouped by club number on separate Test Summary Sheets.
Ensure that the test information and results recorded on each summary sheet are accurate. Do as much paper work prior to test day as possible.
Keep Test Records in the Club :
Keep accurate records in the club. Using a form such as the “Skater’s Test Record Card” will reduce the potential for confusion from test day to test day and year to year. Record Cards are a handy reference for skaters, coaches and club test chairs.
Clubs also have access to their member’s test records through the Members Only Section of the Skate Canada Web site.
Articles : From the eyes of an Evaluator